Every month ESI, in collaboration with Esports Charts, delves into the world of esports viewership to highlight what audiences are currently watching, along with other emerging trends in the industry.
June’s viewership figures showcased the popularity of a variety of titles, with five different games occupying the top spots within Esports Charts’s peak viewership table.
Will mobile titles ever lose the top spot?
Viewership figures in June have once again highlighted the popularity of mobile esports as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tops the peak viewership chart.
MOONTON’s MLBB Southeast Asia Cup 2021 garnered a peak viewership of 2.24m during its finale between EVOS Esports and Execration. In total, the event recorded an average viewership of 514,617 across its 57 hour airtime.
Since ESI’s viewership breakdown commenced in January 2021, a mobile title has been first every month for peak viewership. This is the fourth time that Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has topped the monthly chart, which highlights the title’s popularity, particularly across Southeast Asia.
Perhaps the largest viewership competitor to Mobile Legends, alongside Free Fire and PUBG Mobile, is League of Legends. In fact, only a record-breaking peak viewership figure by Free Fire halted MSI 2021 from claiming the top spot. It’s also imperative to note that since Chinese viewership is not recorded in the chart, this is not recognising League of Legends viewership from what is arguably its most popular region.
Either way, as global events start to draw ever closer, it’ll be interesting to see how the likes of PGL’s CS:GO Major and the League of Legends World Championship compare, viewership wise, from their mobile competitors.
How is the LCK performing compared to previous splits
Speaking of League of Legends, the title’s Korean league has continued to appear on Esports Charts’s peak viewership table, this time ranking second with a figure of 720,337.
Nevertheless, despite this figure, the LCK’s viewership is falling slightly behind previous splits. As of right now, the LCK 2021 Summer Split has an average viewership of 187,076, which is a decrease of over 40,000 compared to Spring 2021 (232,180).
Compared to Summer 2020, the LCK is again slightly behind, however, it is likely that this year’s competition will break 2020’s peak viewership of 823,597. Perhaps the biggest factor for LCK’s viewership this split is the performance of SKT, one of the league’s most popular teams.
So far the Korean esports organisation has appeared in the top five most viewed matches this split. SKT’s failure to reach the finals in Spring 2021 looked to have impacted viewership, with the split’s final between Gen.G and Damwon only recording a peak viewership of 616,911. This ranked the series fourth in Spring 2021, behind three SKT-featured games.
Only time will tell how the Summer 2021 split will compare to other seasons. Playoffs will ultimately decide where this split falls, however, finishing second in the month’s viewership will always be seen as a positive sign.
Call of Duty: Warzone and Dota 2 enter the viewership chart
Placing third and fourth in the Esports Charts peak viewership table was WePlay AniMajor (645,141) and Twitch Rivals’s Call of Duty: Warzone event (441,145), respectively.
In June, Twitch Rivals x Call of Duty World Series of Warzone NA #1 also topped the english-language chart, recording a peak viewership of 407,594. This beat the likes of LEC Summer 2021 (245,561) and LCS Summer 2021 (262,025).
The Twitch Rivals Call of Duty: Warzone event is the brand’s fifth highest viewed event, in terms of peak viewership. The streaming platform’s VALORANT series in 2020 so far recorded the largest audience, garnering an impressive peak viewership of 692,277.
In comparison to other Dota 2 events, WePlay Animajor is the title’s fifth highest peak viewership (645,141). The success of WePlay Animajor, alongside ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021 (605,656) and TI 10’s Western Europe Qualifier (546,300), has led to a mini reassurance for the title.
With this rise in viewership, in comparison to 2020, there is a sense of optimism that the upcoming TI 10 could surpass the 1.96m peak viewership figure that was recorded at The International 2019. Especially when you consider that the event was cancelled in 2020.
What to expect for the rest of July?
Given that most July events have commenced or concluded, there is already a sense of which title will top the viewership chart. However, in terms of competitions that could go up in the viewership charts, all eyes are on the regional League of Legends events as they start to reach a conclusion. Moreover, Free Fire’s Brazillian event could also secure significant viewership figures.